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|No Separate Sentencing Jury for Sheley
|Accused murder Nicholas Sheley will have just one jury in his trial for now.
Sheley defense attorney's had filed a motion earlier this month asking for a separate sentencing jury if Sheley is convicted of first degree murder in Knox County. Judge James Stewart, however, did not find if necessary to allow for two juries at this time.
Stewart did agree with one defense argument. Lead defense attorney Jeremy Karlin argued during a hearing Thursday, that any potential jurors questioned for the trial, would have to be asked specifically about their views of the death penalty.
According to Karlin, at the bare minimum the law only requires jurors to be abstractly asked whether they believe the death penalty should be applied for all murders.
Karlin say that makes it difficult to determine if a juror could fairly hear mitigation evidence during a sentencing hearing. Some of that evidence may contain information about other murders in which Sheley is accused.
Karlin successfully argued that people generally can't answer the question in the abstract and details regarding, the number of murders committed, age of victims and so on should be included in those questions.
Judge Stewart agreed, and asked both the defense and prosecution to submit questions they would like asked of potential jury members. He would not, however, agree to completely separate jury unless it became evident jury selection could not be agreed on by both sides.
Sheley is accused of the death of 65 year old Ronald Randall of Galesburg in 2008 as well as other murders in Whiteside County and the state of Missouri.
His next court date is scheduled for March 15th.
|12 17 10 by Newsroom
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